How AI Can Cut Costs and Help You Keep Your Competitive Edge

first_imgThe conversation around artificial intelligence tends to focus on how it can make companies more efficient and productive. And that stands to reason — implemented effectively, such automation really does lead to greater output in less time at a lower cost.Of course, AI customized for your business doesn’t grow on trees. One software development firm, for instance, estimates that a simple chatbot could cost between $6,000 to $12,240, while a more complex bot’s price tag could be closer to six figures. But even with AI’s short-term costs, the tech could be a worthwhile investment that lowers your business’s long-term expenditures.As marketplaces become more crowded and competitive, companies will need to look for every advantage to remain relevant and appealing. AI plays a big part in that, cementing a company’s reputation as an innovator in the process. Here are four ways you can use AI to cut costs for your business:Use Automation to Improve Efficiency and Reduce ErrorsErrors aren’t just disruptive; they’re wasteful. In healthcare, for example, unnecessary tests and procedures cost U.S. consumers an astounding $210 billion a year. Part of the problem is that each patient is likely receiving medical treatment from multiple service providers, making it difficult to effectively organize a treatment schedule. AI, however, can spot duplicate procedures in the scheduling process and reduce scheduling errors as well.CHRISTUS Health, for instance, worked with Experian Health to automate up to 80 percent of its preregistration-related tasks, such as inputting new patients’ health history. As a result, productivity increased by 60 percent while errors plummeted. Staffers reallocated the time that was being spent on menial tasks to helping out with more important needs. Increasing efficiency and decreasing errors benefits both patients and providers.Improve Your Production Output With Stronger WorkflowsThe cumulative effects of inefficiency can cause end-to-end production processes to lag and accrue extra costs. Automating workflows ensures that they run automatically, consistently, and with less oversight. AI can replace human inputs while helping to manage the inputs humans still make, improving every aspect of production in the process.For example, a major paper packaging manufacturer was looking to reduce its scrap rate, so it implemented Sight Machine’s sensor-enabled, AI-driven application suite to track the production process in depth. This enabled the company to monitor every instance when a machine came into contact with paper and analyze the resulting production data in real time, eliminating many inefficiencies and QA issues in the process.Free Up Your Employees’ Time for Higher-Level TasksPeople are your biggest asset, so save their valuable time by automating some of their menial duties. For example, Botkeeper uses human-assisted AI to handle bill paying, accounts receivable, financial reporting, and myriad other accounting tasks. To date, the solution has automated more than 1,200,000 hours of bookkeeping for its 1,000 clients. With the time saved, companies can either reduce the number of accountants they employ or repurpose the existing ones to work on more strategic accounting efforts.Once AI has time- and labor-intensive processes running on autopilot, remaining employees can redirect their focus to more important things. By one estimate, employees who saved 240 hours due to automation return $9,240 in value to their employers. The numbers are even higher when it’s executives’ time that’s being repurposed.  Automate the Sticking Points of Customer ServiceAutomation in the form of chatbots and digital assistants leads to better customer service overall because customers can reach these AI helpers 24/7. This technology is so beneficial for all involved that Gartner predicts that 85 percent of customer service interactions will take place between humans and AI by 2020.That prediction’s believable when you consider an example like Autodesk Virtual Assistant. AVA is able to handle 30,000 interactions a month, speeding up response times from 1.5 days to 5 minutes. Call centers are quickly becoming obsolete as automation learns to answer the same queries as human representatives in less time. In turn, companies can offer customers superior service.AI can optimize companies’ operations in ways that both improve their bottom line and enhance the customer experience. AI-driven automation is an advantage now, but moving forward, companies will consider it a critical asset for remaining competitive. China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … Tags:#AI#artificial intelligence#business expenses#chatbot#cost reduction#customer service#operations#productivity Brad AndersonEditor In Chief at ReadWrite How OKR’s Completely Transformed Our Culture AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com. last_img read more

Govt. holds another round of talks with NSCN-IM; separate flag, constitution sticking point

first_imgThe Centre on Monday held another round of talks with the NSCN-IM, the major insurgency group in Nagaland, aiming to hammer out differences, particularly on the outfit’s demand for a separate flag and Constitution for the Nagas, and inch closer to a solution to the seven decades old problem, officials said.A team of the NSCN-IM, led by its general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah, and Centre’s interlocutor and Nagaland Governor R N Ravi discussed here the possible ways to find an “honourable” solution by resolving the sticky issue of a separate flag and Constitution for the Nagas.As talks were progressing with the NSCN-IM, a grouping of seven Naga outfits which is pushing for an early solution to the Naga issue has urged elected representatives to avoid a “neutral stand” and make clear their position.The issue of a separate flag and Constitution for the Nagas has become the main bone of contention between the two sides with the NSCN-IM strongly pressing for it.“The dialogue, which lasted for more than four hours, remained inconclusive and both sides agreed to meet again soon. However, a final agreement between the NSCN-IM and the government is unlikely to take place by October 31,” an official privy to the development said.Mr. Ravi, in a statement, had said last week that a mutually agreed draft comprehensive settlement, including all the substantive issues and competencies, is ready for signing the final agreement.“Unfortunately at this auspicious juncture, the NSCN-IM has adopted a procrastinating attitude to delay the settlement raising the contentious symbolic issues of separate Naga national flag and Constitution on which they are fully aware of the government of India’s position,” he had said.Mr. Ravi’s statement bears significance in view of the central government’s August 5 announcement abrogating the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370. With the annulment of the special status, the separate flag and the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir cease to exist.The interlocutor said the NSCN-IM has “mischievously” dragged in the framework agreement and began imputing imaginary contents to it.The framework agreement was signed on August 3, 2015 by NSCN-IM’s Muivah and interlocutor Mr. Ravi in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The framework agreement came after over 80 rounds of negotiations spanning 18 years, with the first breakthrough in 1997 when the ceasefire agreement was sealed after decades of insurgency in Nagaland which started soon after India’s independence in 1947.The central government has already rejected the NSCN-IM’s demand for unification of Naga inhabited areas — located in Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. The three Northeastern states also vehemently opposed it.Noting that the the Centre was keen on finding a solution, the grouping of seven organisations called Naga National Political Groups (NNPG) made the appeal to the elected representatives in a statement released by its media cell on Sunday night. The NNPG has been holding separate talks with the Centre since 2017.In the statement, the NNPG asserted that the elected representatives of Nagaland should not be maintaining a neutral stand on the matter, now that the government was keen on finding a solution.“Unresolved matters should be decided through political and democratic process…. The position and status of elected representatives of Nagaland cannot remain lukewarm. They cannot choose to hide behind the boulders blocking the way,” it said.The Centre had set a deadline for conclusion of peace talks in the wake of the Naga society’s demand for an early solution to the six-decade-old issue, the statement said.“It is time for political parties in Nagaland to clear their stand in the interest of the Naga people…. If the political parties of Nagaland fail in their constitutional duties and obligations, they should resign and allow the Election Commission of India to derecognise the parties,” the NNPG said.The interlocutor, Mr. Ravi is expected to hold dialogue with the NNPG in the coming days too.last_img read more